Stefan Dennis (Neighbours' Paul Robinson) Interview

When Neighbours began in 1985, Stefan Dennis auditioned for the role of hunky Shane Ramsay. He ended up playing the show’s resident, ruthless, power-hungry businessman, Paul Robinson, instead. As such, he is the only current cast member who appeared in the first episode.
 
Stefan has been involved in many of the show's dramatic storylines. Not only did his character, Paul, need to have his leg amputated after being chased off a cliff by a group of heavies, he was also responsible for the fire that burned down Lou‘s Place and The Coffee Shop.
 
As the kind of shady character who’d do anything to make a fast buck, he even planned to bulldoze Ramsay Street to make way for a new supermarket development.  And that’s not all: fraud, blackmail, murder; there is no level to which Paul wouldn’t have sunk.
 
Yet, the infamous bad boy of Erinsborough, has, thankfully, turned over a new leaf.
 
“Playing evil Paul was great,” he says. “He was such a good character to play and it was such fun. As an actor, it was more interesting for me to play a bad character. I got to kiss many good-looking women, too. There’s something about an evil one-legged man - he’s obviously very attractive to the ladies. But when the producers said they wanted to stop making Paul so evil, I understood completely. It was all becoming a bit Dallas.”
 
In reality, of course, Stefan is more charming than Paul, but not in the slightest bit evil.
 
“I’m a fairly quiet guy and don’t get involved with anything that could cause controversy or trouble,” he says. “Although I was in the first ever episode of Neighbours, I still regard myself as the new kid on the block. Despite being back for three years, I consider the likes of Alan Fletcher, Tom Oliver and Ian Smith as real old school cast.”
 
Stefan describes one of his favourite Neighbours moments as the first time he left in 1992.
 
“I enjoyed it because of the fantastic party that was laid on for me,” he recalls. “Like a lot of young actors who‘ve been in a soap for a long time, I wanted to branch out. That’s when I came to the UK and worked on shows such as Casualty and The Bill.
 
“My other golden moment was being asked to come back and celebrate the 2000th episode,” he continues. “It was also Anne Haddy’s birthday. She played my grandmother Helen Daniels. We had a great working relationship.
 
“In those days, there were fewer actors on the show than there are now, so we were an even more close-knit group than we are today. I’ve stayed in touch with some of the old cast members. Actors Alan Dale, Guy Pearce and Craig McLachlan are still my best friends.”
 
Stefan, a motorbike enthusiast, is married to dancer, Gail Easdale, whom he met in the UK in a production of Aladdin. They have two sons, Cameron, six, and two-year-old Declan.
 
Born in Tawonga, Australia, Stefan was 11-years-old when he joined the Independent Theatre Guild in Queensland. At 15, however, he took an apprenticeship as a chef and worked in the restaurant industry in Melbourne. But after taking bit parts on TV, he was cast in series such as: Cop Shop; Skyways; Carson's Law; Young Ramsay; Prisoner Cell Block H; The Henderson Kids; The Sullivans and The Young Doctors.

Stefan also worked in the UK on variety of shows, pantomimes, plays, and musicals.

He played Mickey in Blood Brothers and appeared on TV in: Dream Team; River City; The Bill and Casualty.


Neighbours makes its debut on Five on Monday 11th February 2008 in its traditional slots of 1.45pm and 5.30pm every weekday.